November 10, 2020
You know the feeling: your alarm has gone off for the fifth time, and no matter how many times you hit “snooze,” it’s just impossible to get going in the morning. Believe it or not, there are more ways than downing a cup of coffee to get yourself moving.
Here are five easy, healthy ways to begin each day:
Going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day (even weekends) will help you be ready to go each morning. A regular sleep schedule will result in your circadian rhythm, biological clock, and the actual clock lining up, naturally waking you up at the right time each morning, so it will be much easier to roll out of bed. Just make sure you get around eight hours of sleep every night.
It’s not just how long you’re asleep that makes a difference, but the quality of sleep you get, too. That means avoiding a few things before you get into bed: don’t exercise or eat a large meal close to bedtime, and avoid the computer, television, and phone screens just before you sleep. Establishing a solid bedtime routine means your body will be ready to rest once you get into bed.
Some of us just aren’t morning people, and no matter how good our sleep hygiene is, it will still take a little jolt to get moving. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to endless cups of coffee each morning, especially if you’re the type of person who loads up with cream or sugar. Try a caffeinated tea, instead: tea has a number of health benefits that coffee does not, but still has enough of a kick to wake you up.
Every grade schooler in America knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But there’s a big difference between diving into a bowl of sugary cereal and the fuel that prepares you for a productive day. Yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit will do more than just give you the calories you need for the morning: a breakfast like that will promote digestive health and give you a good chunk of the nutrients you need daily. Oatmeal, also with some fresh fruit, is another great meal for the winter months.
It might be hard to drag yourself to the gym or get out the door for a run first-thing in the morning, but there’s almost no better way to start your day. Beyond all the benefits of exercise at any time, the endorphins and energy from a workout will last well into your day.
For most people, the morning has a defined end point: beginning the work day or heading off to school. That means the period after you wake up can feel like a harried rush against the clock, especially if you have kids. So, here’s a bonus habit:
The need to get out the door and get going can make mornings stressful, and while it might be energizing in the moment, it’s exhausting and can spill into the rest of your day. Set a defined wake-up time and schedule for each morning and you’ll find yourself moving a bit easier and feeling less stressed. Plus, it’s the best way to make sure you have the time for the other healthy habits above.
These tips can’t guarantee you’ll become a morning person, but they will help you start your day in a healthy way, ensuring you’re ready to take on whatever the world wants to throw at you.